Cellular inflammation may seem like a complicated topic, but it is one that everyone should understand. Many chronic diseases get caused by having chronic inflammation. It is worth looking at this often misunderstood issue to find out if you have it, and what you can do to get rid of it.
Acute inflammation upsets all the systems in the body. With so many chronic diseases on the rise, we wonder what is going on and why we feel so helpless. Many people feel that getting sick is a luck of the draw and it is even part of getting older. Our bodies were designed to protect us and to fight off sickness. Let’s look at how chronic inflammation affects us and some practical ways to avoid this nasty offender.
Chronic inflammation happens when your immune system gets stimulated and doesn’t stop. The immune system goes into a fight or flight mode and attempts to ward off the virus or other potential threat.
In chronic inflammation, the communication of your body’s systems gets distorted. It puts everything into a reactive process. That causes the activation of things like heart disease and autoimmune diseases. Many people find the root cause of their high blood pressure can be attributed to cellular inflammation.
When your immune system gets the signal that it is under attack, it sends out cytokines that activate inflammatory cells. The cells begin the inflammatory response and try to trap the cause of the offense, such as bacteria or other harmful agents. On the outside, the results we may see show up as swelling, bruising, or pain. We may not see the inflammatory response that takes place on the inside. (1)
We mentioned that the immune response is to send in the troops to fight off the invading offender. This process gets done by coordinating the activation of signals by way of pathways that regulate inflammation. These inflammatory levels can be found in tissue cells and inflammatory cells in blood vessels. The body will release antibodies to the site of inflammation.
Heart disease is not the only chronic illness caused by chronic inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and a whole host of other diseases get diagnosed every day and can get traced back to systemic inflammation. Cardiovascular disease is one major issue but there are many.
In a normal system, leukocytes move across barriers to areas of inflammation. Vascular permeability allows this migration so that leukocytes can carry nutrients to needed organs. Endothelial cells line the vascular walls. When chronic inflammation occurs, the blood leakage can become dangerous.
The inflammatory response depends on the nature of the stimulus it receives. That means it is dependent on the location in the body and what pathogen or bacteria affected it. Whatever the cause, the immune system recognizes it as detrimental to the body and activates inflammatory pathways. (2)
With cellular inflammation causing so much disruption, we are left wondering what causes it. Some say that autoimmune diseases cause chronic cellular inflammation in the body. When you have autoimmune issues, your body fights itself causing a dysfunction with the immune response system. Your immune system attacks the otherwise healthy tissues and causes tissue damage.
Stress and exhaustion are huge contributors to chronic cellular inflammation. Many people think stress is a part of life, but they don’t know how it can get to the cellular level and create major issues with inflammation. When you get stressed out all the time, your body cannot respond to hormonal control. It loses the ability to regulate the inflammatory response, thus creating the perfect storm for chronic disease. (3)
We also know that obesity affects many processes in the body. It can lead to having systemic inflammation, too. It is often a domino effect. We make poor dietary choices that cause us to gain weight. The extra weight puts stress on our systems and can cause acute inflammation. Obesity disrupts normal inflammatory processes and increases chronic inflammation. Being overweight is one of the risk factors for systemic inflammation. The immune cells get into metabolic tissues and macrophages. It then causes adipose tissue disruption and leads to decreases in T cells. (3) The more weight we carry, the more inflammation we may have.
Toxins contribute heavily to chronic cellular inflammation. We come in contact with many toxic chemicals throughout our lives that can take a toll on our immune systems. When toxins are in our bodies, it can cause increased free radical production. Free radicals can cause cancer, atherosclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Inflammatory mediators, also known as Inflammatory cytokines, can be one of two groups. They will be proinflammatory or anti-inflammatory. Proinflammatory cytokines also elicit an immune response. Some of the key proinflammatory cytokines are lymphocytes, leukotrienes, tumor necrosis factor, and interleukin-6. These can affect the immune system and cell growth factors. This may seem overly scientific, but what you need to know is that cytokines are the crucial modulators of inflammation. (4)
Untreated infections can lead to acute inflammation. These can be caused from injuries that worsened over time.
We may have chronic cellular inflammation and not realize it. The symptoms may present as fatigue, joint pain, and weight gain that leads to obesity. Sometimes patients put off going to the doctor because they think the cause is lack of rest or other benign factors.
If you suspect you have chronic cellular inflammation, you should see seek out a natural health practitioner. You may get blood tests and other tests to get to the root cause.
Your doctor should check your neutrophil levels. These are white blood cells that kill and digest bacteria to fight infections. These are the first blood cells that respond to signs of infection in the body. You can think of them as the first line of defense. A high neutrophil count is a sign that inflammation is present. It may mean you have an infection, but could signal you have chronic inflammation. Neutrophils alert cell receptors that pathogens are present in the body. People who have rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease will have high neutrophil levels. (5)
With blood tests, you may also see a rise in monocytes. These are white blood cells that your immune system turns into dendritic cells or macrophage to kill invading bacteria.
A c-reactive protein test may also be done to test for chronic cellular inflammation. When you have a high c-reactive protein number, your inflammation is also high. You may hear this referred to as a CRP test. Many doctors look for inflammatory diseases by checking CRP levels.
A natural doctor will look at the inflammatory markers from these tests to see how much inflammation you have. Inflammatory markers are not the only factors that will determine the diagnosis. Your symptoms and possible infections will be recorded as well.
Now that we know what causes chronic cellular inflammation, we can implement strategies to prevent it from happening. If we have it, we can use natural approaches to rid our bodies of it.
Changing your diet can give you incredible results. Reducing the number of processed carbohydrates will decrease inflammatory markers. Many people who suffer from obesity find that lowering their carbohydrates also helps them lose weight.
Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can be beneficial because it drives down inflammation. Clinical trials show that omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that may calm the body’s immune response. Also, the anti-inflammatory effects of vitamins are much safer than anti-inflammatory drugs.
You need nutrient-dense foods that help your body heal. Stay away from foods that have additives, as these cause biological responses that are not healthy. (6) Eat whole foods as close to their natural form as possible.
Consider a cellular detox. When you want to remove those unwanted toxins from your body, a true cellular detox can help. It will take about three months to complete the process because it is thorough and works to support and detox the cells.
Decrease the toxic chemicals in your home. Consider natural beauty products and everyday household items. Use these natural products as often as possible. Remove the harmful chemicals from your home.
Take a probiotic and eat probiotic-rich foods. You can choose foods like kefir, unsweetened yogurt, and kimchi. These increase the healthy bacteria in your gut and fight off the bad bacteria that can cause illness.
Take quality supplements. You can get natural anti-inflammatory help with things like turmeric, fish oil, and many herbs.
When they get diagnosed, many people get prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs to ease their pain. These have tons of side effects and even cause deaths every year. There are many natural supplements that can help with the pain and discomfort that comes with cellular inflammation.
Natural medicine will get you back to a healthy state as your body decreases the levels of inflammation. You won’t get the unwanted side effects that come with the many prescription drugs available. Many of these drugs simply mask the issue. Covering up the symptoms won’t get to the root cause of the problem.
Our bodies were designed for optimal health. When we don’t feel our best, it is always wise to seek natural sources to get back to the way nature intended. Natural remedies are too often the missing link in today’s health and medical techniques. Chronic cellular inflammation can wreak havoc on your health. Use natural healing methods and get all the benefits of wellness without the downsides of harsh pharmaceuticals!